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- In Homer’s Odyssey, Eurymachus, son of Polybus is an Ithacan nobleman and one of the two leading suitors of Penelope, the other being Antinous. He, along with the majority of his fellow suitors, shows no regard for the Greek custom of xenia or guest-friend hospitality; Eurymachus is arrogant, disrespectful, and consumes food and drink without the slightest reciprocation. He is noteworthy for being manipulative and deceitful, at one point even fooling Penelope into thinking him without ill-intent. Although he arranges for the death of Odysseus’ son, Telemachus, his plan fails and he is later killed by Odysseus. He claims in his childhood Odysseus befriended him often, and tells Penelope that makes Telemachus 'my dearest friend on Earth' and he will protect him, though 'death for Telemachus was in his heart'. Penelope's maid, Melantho, is also his lover. After Antinous is shot, Eurymachus appeals to Odysseus, blaming Antinous for all the trouble that had been caused and saying what the Suitors took will be repaid. Odysseus, however, maintains that killing will continue until he has satiated his taste for vengeance, whereupon Eurymachus runs at Odysseus with his sword, but Odysseus shoots an arrow into Eurymachus’ chest, stopping him dead.
- Eurymachus was the son of Antenor and Theano. He was engaged to Priam's daughter Polyxena.
- Eurymachus also refers to one of the 180 Theban soldiers who were taken prisoner in the Theban siege of Plataea. All of the Theban soldiers were killed after the Plataeans brought everyone living outside of their walls into the city after unrequited negotiation with Thebes's nightly backup troops. Thucydides states that Eurymachus was "a man of great influence at Thebes," and that the Platean, Naucleides, arranged with him to bring in "a little over 300" Theban troops in the middle of the night, for a sneak attack. This event touched off the Peloponnesian War.
- Book XVI: 435-450
- Book XVIII: 368-369
- Book XXII: 48-93
- Homer. Odyssey. Trans. Stanley Lombardo. Canada: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2000. Print.
- Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War, Book II.
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